FYI, we don't provide root access by default for Dedicated servers, as most people never use it and having such access available makes your server more prone to security exploits. If you don't have definite plans to use it, we recommend that you don't get it enabled until you do.
However, we do provide 'sudo' root access on request, meaning that you would log in using one of your main shell users and then use the sudo command to attain root privileges. This is sort of like having normal root, but is a bit more secure.
We provide sudo support to all Dedicated customers upon request, but you'll need to contact support to get it enabled. We ask you to agree to a few things first (mostly common sense stuff - ie. don't log into your privileged account using insecure protocols such as FTP/Telnet, the power of root means that you're responsible for any major server problems that are caused by changes you make, etc). The support person who gets back to you will go through all of this.
As for support: We do provide an emergency 'sos' email address to Dedicated customers for use in emergency situations - this goes directly to our on-call Dev/Admin's pager, 24/7. If you weren't given this, send us an email and we'll go over that. Other than that, support is the same as with shared hosting, though Dedicated support inquiries are flagged in a bright red color and tend to receive answers pretty quickly (note that this requires that you write in using your contact email address for the account).
- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin