For the record, anyone else who is looking at sphinx for search on DreamHost.
You will need a DreamHostPS. Then you can compile and run sphinx as a daemon in the background without any issues (so far
Everything went smoothly.
I did not need to contact support for any help, I had read on another forum that someone had to ask support for sudo but I did not experience this.
Hope this helps anyone else looking to use this awesome engine.