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Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important: This article contains information/examples about root/sudo/admin users.

On December 9, 2015, DreamHost disabled admin users on VPS machines (private servers). For details of why this was done, please review the following article:

If you still require sudo/admin access, you must upgrade to a Dedicated server.


DreamHost Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and DreamPress are four hosting services available for your website.

The DreamHost Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a premium hosting solution based on Solid State Drives (SSDs.) It is available as an add-on to an existing DreamHost plan or a standalone service. DreamHost VPSs use Linux-VServer to create a "virtual machine" that protects a user's CPU and RAM resources from other users on the same physical machine.

For example, on a shared server resources are shared by other users. On a VPS, these resources are more isolated which improves performance and helps to maintain stability.

You can review pricing details for VPS plans on the DreamHost website.

This article provides details on how to add a:

  • VPS server
  • VPS User, and
  • other details for managing and using your VPS.

What features does a VPS include?

  • Protected CPU and RAM
  • Persistent processes are allowed (and are never killed)
  • Ability to alter the memory on the fly, without the need to reboot
  • Ability to reboot the server from the panel
  • Historical memory and load graphs can be viewed on the panel
  • SSD-based drives offering speeds 20x times faster than traditional SATA disk drives

Persistent processes

Unlike a regular shared hosting setup, VPSs allow for persistent processes to run. Regardless of how long it takes to run these processes (web invoked, console invoked, cron, or otherwise), the processes are never killed by the server.

Dynamic server settings adjustment

Many of the key configuration options for your VPS server are configured on the fly by DreamHost's automation system to take the best advantage of your available server resources. For instance, if you have a 300MB VPS server, Apache is configured to use a smaller amount of memory than if you had a 1000MB server. The Apache configuration is proportional to the memory allocation and is adjusted when the allocation is increased for the server.

Wildcard DNS

Please visit the Wildcard DNS article for instructions on how to enable this service.

How to set up a VPS

Adding a VPS

You can add a VPS through the panel:

  1. Go to the (Panel > ‘VPS’ > ‘Dashboard’) page.
    The ‘Managed VPS Hosting with SSDs’ page opens:
    01 VPS Managed VPS page.fw.png
  2. Click the blue Add VPS button near the bottom of the page.
    A window pops up and asks you to proceed with adding the VPS.
  3. Confirm by clicking the Add button.

An email is sent to you after the VPS is provisioned.

Adding a VPS user

To add a new user to your VPS server:

  1. Go to the (Panel > ‘Users’ > ‘Manage Users’) page.
    02 VPS Add new user.fw.png
  2. Click the Add a New User button.
    The ‘Add a new user’ page opens:
    03 VPS Add new user details.fw.png
  3. Select your VPS from the “Server” dropdown menu near the middle of the page.
  4. Fill out the username/password details and then click the blue Add User button towards the bottom of the page.

Your new VPS user is ready to use within 20 minutes.

Adding a VPS admin user

Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important:

DreamHost will soon remove the ability to add an admin user on a VPS machine. View the following article for further details:

Migrating all shared users and domains to a VPS

If you did not select the option to move your sites and users to the VPS when ordering, you can still move them at a later time.

To migrate your sites and users:

  1. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘VPS’ > ‘Dashboard’) page.
    06 VPS Migrate User Link.fw.png
  2. Above the Add VPS button, click the link titled ‘Click here’ to move all users and domains.
    07 VPS Move shared domains.fw.png
  3. Select the desired VPS from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click the Move all shared users and domains button.

Your users and domains are then migrated over to your chosen VPS.

Moving specific domains from Shared to VPS

Please visit the following article for information on moving domains from shared servers to a VPS:

How to manage your VPS

The following sections help you manage various aspects of your private server.

Accessing your server before you move a domain

If you want to access the server to perform configuration before you move your domain over, you can use the following form of a hostname in your FTP client (NOT in http):


where psXXXXX is the hostname of your VPS.

If you enter ftp://psXXXXX.dreamhostps.com in a web browser, it would work; but http://psXXXXX.dreamhostps.com does not work. This is because http and FTP requests are handled differently: for http requests, the server shares ip addresses among domains, whereas for FTP requests, the server only needs the FTP username/password to know what content is in scope for its response.

In an FTP application, the server name, psXXXXX.dreamhostps.com, is adequate as a hostname for the same reasons.

Editing the httpd.conf file

Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important:
  • Only edit this file if you're sure you know what you're doing. Always backup the current file before making any adjustments.
  • If you have made a customization(s) to your VPS and it’s not functioning properly, then DreamHost support may not be able to assist.

You must have an admin user to modify this file. Changes to this file will automatically get reverted if the web server service is set to DreamHost Managed.

To confirm if the server is DreamHost Managed:

  1. Go to the (Panel > ‘VPS’ > ‘Dashboard’) page.
  2. To the right of your VPS, click the Configure button.
    The httpd.conf file is located in the following directory:

Rebooting Apache

Dh-kb-warn-icon.fw.png Warning: Rebooting Apache disconnects any active connections (i.e., users, downloads, and so on). Be careful when using this command.

To reboot Apache:

  1. Log into your panel.
  2. Navigate to the (Panel > 'VPS' > 'Dashboard') page.
  3. To the right of your server, click the Restart button.

Your server will then be rebooted in a few moments.

See also