I’m not sure about anyone else but I have had much trouble trying to get the latest version of Magento (version, 1.1.6 as of the time of this writing) installed on a Dreamhost shared server. The basic, lowest plan supports all the stated requirements for Magento, and I had installed Magento very easily on my local machine (Win XP, Apache 2.2.9, MySQL 5.0.67) using the web installer. However, I tried doing the exact same thing on the Dreamhost server and I found a deluge of different errors after trying to run the web installer several times. The errors ranged from an apparent bad .htaccess fill (bad redirect that caused an HTTP 500 error) to several different errors in creating the database tables.
After several tries, I thought I should try a different approach. The install guide that comes with the downloaded package states that you can do an install from the command line. I tried doing that and it worked perfectly and easily the very first time. I’m not sure what it is about the web installer but there was no way I was able to get it to work on dreamhost.
Here’s the command from the install file. Dreamhost uses php4 as the default from the command line so you have to run the install file script using php5. Of course fill in the specific values for the options for your installation as necessary. Hopefully this can save someone else the several hours it took me to figure this out.
/usr/local/php5/bin/php -f install.php -- --license_agreement_accepted yes --locale en_US --timezone "America/Los_Angeles" --default_currency USD --db_host localhost --db_name magento_database --db_user magento_user --db_pass 123123 --db_prefix magento_ --url "http://magento.example.com/" --use_rewrites yes --use_secure yes --secure_base_url "https://magento.example.com/" --use_secure_admin yes --admin_lastname Owner --admin_firstname Store --admin_email "firstname.lastname@example.org" --admin_username admin --admin_password 123123
P.S. I know many people on forums say Magento is slow on a dreamhost shared server but this install was not meant to be a live production site, just something for me to play around with.