Some of us, (myself being one of them) would much prefer an option at set up allowing us to have no “services” such as php, apache, etc, installed.
While I understand that dreamhost is really geared towards making things simplified, fast, and for the most part easy for the majority of it’s customer base, for me, that takes all of the fun out of having a server. (In this case, VPS). Further, having outdated versions of these services is not what I want. I understand, “you have root, you can install new versions”. Tell me why I spent several hours yesterday not only trying to install the new version of PHP through source, and even using the “install script” mentioned in the wiki. Even after successful “installs”, running “phpinfo()” resulted in it still saying I was using DH’s “old” version of 5.3. Things got so bad from my “installs” and trying to do this that, “resetting” the vps in the control panel resulted in a missing “php.ini” file (phpinfo() said I had no php.ini file), which I again, couldn’t fix. In the end, I canceled my hosting package because my server was so screwed up and I was about to go look for a new one.
I’m actually not sure why, but I decided to give DH another shot. I’ll admit though, part of this reason was because I was too afraid of paying for another hosting company which I would end up strongly DISLIKING for different reasons. At the same time, having php5.4.11 is a HUGE deal to me.
Now, I claim to be no expert in server administration, but I understand a fair amount. I have installed php and apache from scratch on previous systems. (Dedicated servers) where nothing was previously installed. They just gave you the “root” login, and said “here, go have fun, you’re on your own”. Dreamhost doesn’t even give you the root login. I still remember when I signed up, I spent several minutes trying to login via SSH to my server with my base account username and password, thinking that they were the root u/p.
TL;DR suggestion: Option for “bare bones” server. Nothing installed, just given a “root” password.