Hello. I am having trouble installing GreyMatter, a weblog type of program. All files have been installed correctly, but i am afraid that the “suexec” thing on the server for security is keeping the program from running correctly (there are a few files that are required to be CHMOD’d to 755…)

any thoughts or tips are appreciated… !

But then you ARE able to chmod them to 755, aren’t you? Could you elaborate a bit more, jetblack?

actually i meant 777, which Dreamhost says that it’s not too cool to chmod to.

basically i’ve installed to the GreyMatter’s instructions, and the main cgi script that runs the program opens up as a bunch of text in the browser window.

I uploaded all .cgi files in “text” mode on Fetch(mac FTP client)

i’ve double checked everything… anyone else using Greymatter on Dreamhost ? it’s really a great program.

If you’re getting a .cgi or .pl script showing up as just the text in your browser instead of being run, that means you don’t have CGI enabled for that domain. If you’ve got a plan that allows cgi (anything besides crazy domain insane), you can turn it on via the web panel… under the domain > manage domains area. (click on the [edit] link for the “http” service for the relevant domain).

Also, basically anywhere an installation script says you should install something with “777” permissions, you should really install as “755” on our server. It will work just the same for the script. The reason for this is on our servers cgi scripts run with the same permissions as the main user for the domain, so nothing needs to be 777 (which means ANYONE can read,write/delete, or execute it) to be able to be written to.

hope that works for you! You may want to contact if you can’t get it going too… make sure to include the actual url you’re having trouble with!


Files or directories should sometime be set to 0666 or 0777 (respectively) - scripts should generally be set to 0755 (or 0711).

What grey matter probably wants you to set to 0777 are directories, which might need to be set this way for new files to be written if the script was running as the same user that the web server runs as.

Since these are perl scripts and not PHP scripts, on our system, they run as your user, and this shouldn’t really be necessary (ie 0755 should work as well in this case).

Greymatter is a decent piece of software but it has some pretty significant flaws. It was written to scratch one person’s itch and did an ok job but once it started being distributed and used by a larger (more diverse) audience it’s limits became more and more evident. However, the most significant problem I see with GM is that the primary (only?) developer has publicly announced that he has ceased to work on the software. This means no more bug fixes, no more features, and no more progress. If you are completely happy with GM as it is and don’t plan to redesign your site very often you’ve found your solution. If not, there is another option. Movabletype ( is a similar content management system. Unlike Greymatter Movabletype was written to be extensible and flexible. It was created to help as many people as possible instead of simply solving one person’s problem. And also unlike Greymatter Movabletype is still under development. In fact I have heard that the folks at MT are expecting to release version 2.0 (a very significant upgrade) in March.

Now, in terms of getting the permissions right on GM - it can be done. I have run both Greymatter and Movabletype on my Dreamhost account. Just make sure that you take Dreamhosts advice over the advice of your software’s documentation. When it says 777 use 755 instead. Even if the software’s documentation uses words like “require”, “must”, or the like.

No offence, shmuel, but what makes GM (Greymatter) stand out is that it’s a REAL non-profit project, and the “developer” (who doesn’t consider himself a programmer) is a nice person ( You’re not even asked to acknowledge using the script!

I don’t know much about movabletype, but they have explicitly stated that MT is going commercial, and you may well guess the rest of the story.

i have everything working, using 755 in place of 777. Dreamhost helped me out, i had upgraded a hosting plan and my machine/users/cgi stuff was all messed up, but all is good now… i’ll check out MoveableType and see what that deal-e-o is…
thanks all,

I agree prufrock. Personally I am an opensource advocate through and through (probably even a little further down the zealot path than Noah). I wish that Movabletype was more open than it is but given that the source is freely available and they have been very clear that they will maintain a free version of the software in the future I guess I will have to call it good enough. I also agree that Noah is a very nice person (and a great photographer to boot) but so are Ben and Mena so I wouldn’t say that puts GM ahead of the game. One way or another I don’t think there is much room to argue with the quality of the Movabletype system. And if Ben & Mena (did I mention what nice people they are?) want to make a little money for their jobless selves I don’t blame them. I don’t necessarily agree with their methodology but beggars can’t be choosers my mother always used to say.