Need some answers to a few small questions

Heya thanks for looking at ths thread and hoppyfully replying.

Im not new to hosting etc i have hosted on one other site which turned out they were massively unhelpful, i hope dreamhost is better. although there are some large differences and i really dont know what im doing.

Here is a list of things that i had on my previous host but dont cant seem to find on this. Could you pont me in the right direction of these files

— An error log which store e.g all php errors
— A PHP.INI file or more then one i know i had to have a php.ini -in every directory in my old host.
— .htaccess file
— mysql_slow_queries log which was befour in a tmp folder which i cant seem to find.

If these files dont exist can i just create my own, i seriously need so help as i would definately liek to edit my .htaccess and php.ini files and the others are also very helpful

Thanks for you time
and thank you in advance


— An error log which store e.g all php errors
My applications have their own log directories where they store PHP errors. By default, DreamHost doesn’t provide this.

  • However, there is a logs directory in your home directory that stores the HTTP logs

— A PHP.INI file or more then one i know i had to have a php.ini -in every directory in my old host.
Do-It-Yourself recipe:

— .htaccess file
Just create one. Or have the Panel do it for you:
And some recipes:

— mysql_slow_queries log which was befour in a tmp folder which i cant seem to find.
Never heard of this.


thxs for ypour reply altho im still a little confused. I already have my fully functional php.ini file and .htaccess file from my previous host can i just upload that into this directory my website directory as the wiki would put it
mkdir ~/[your website directory]/

or do i have to put these php.ini files in

mkdir ~/[your website directory]/cgi-bin/
can i just upload my old php.ini file which worked on my old host.

could someone also explain how to use shell i never dont stuff like this on my old host, they always done the hard part.

also how many directorys do i have to put the php.ini file in or the cgi-bin/php.ini
Also where do i put .htaccess

Thanks again for your help scott i hope you or anyone else can help a bit more


You need to follow the php.ini recipe if you want to use your own php.ini. DreamHost’s PHP setup doesn’t automatically grab your local php.ini file.

.htaccess goes in the highest directory that applies to your website, or the subdirectory of your site to which you want it applied. Normally, it goes in ~/

Give the Wiki a visit. There’s tons of info there:


hi well ive started taht php.ini thing and there help system is endlessly complicated, im up to the bit where it sez execute

chmod +x

in shell and i have no idea on shell i looked at those links and i have enabled it but didnt get an email to confirm anything. And now what do i do, i have to download something like which the wiki doesnt tell me what i have to do with it atall or anything, isnt there a system where they do this sort of stuff for the user. All i want is my php.ini, not much to ask

any help on this shell business and plz dont send me a wiki link unless it shows where i can get a shell whateva how i exactly use it, like i dunno if i use on my computer or upload to server and then install it how ever i would install it i have no idea.

Any help appreciated


“shell” here generally refers to a type of access you have to your DH server. If you’re running windows on your home computer and if you’ve brought my a MS-DOS prompt that’s basically what this is. Shell access gives you a command line text interface with your server. This give you a great possibility of things to do.

From your computer there’s two “protocols” you can use to connect to the shell of your DH server. The preferred method is SSH and the other option is telnet. SSH is secure (similar to SFTP) and telnet isn’t (similar to FTP). I know you said you didn’t want a wiki article, but the wiki artcle on SSH is fairly helpful. But here’s the basics from that.

You can use a program such as Putty on windows to connect via SSH to your server. (that’s a direct link to the download page - just select the win 32 version). You can also use the build in windows program Hyper Terminal (Start > All Program > Accessories > Communications) to connect via telnet.

But, here’s a small snag. Before you can log into your server with one of those programs your user has to have ‘rights’ to do that. You’ll have to log into the panel > Users > Manage Users. Edit the user in question and place a check mark for SSH access. This change normally takes place in a min or two, but may take upward of an hour or two.

Hopefully that makes things a little more clear for you. As for why it’s not such a simple process here at DH as your previous host… I don’t know. :slight_smile: It’s just not a feature that DH has. Generally they encourage people to use their own default setup, but the possibility is there no only to have your own php.ini file but to make your own install of php. That sounds like a hand suggestion though, to be able to just place a php.ini file in your folder and have it used - you might consider submitting that idea to DH via the Panel > Home > Suggestions. Once put in place others can vote for the idea to help give DH a feel for what features are most important to their users.

You can also install several other such things with your own configurations and what not - as long as it meets a few basic requirements. First it can’t be a persistent process - it can’t constantly run on the server regardless if someone’s using your site or not. For instance things called “severs” can’t be run on DH. Next you have to be able to configure the install to put all the files in your home directory as you don’t have access to the root folders. And it also has to play nice on a shared server and not suck up to many other resources. You probably don’t care about all this right now, but I was just trying to entice you with the greater possibilities.

Please post back if you have more questions. I know how frustrating things can be when you’re getting started with a new host. We’ve all be there.

–Matttail - personal website