Opening ports with Dreamhost

Hello, I’ve been web hosting on a shared server with Hostgator for a while now but…

I just wrote a neat little server application that needs to listen through an open TCP port for connections. Hostgator, like just about every other web hosting surfaces, does not allow opening ports on a shared server. As a dedicated server service is ten times as expensive as a shared service I’m a wee bit miffed.

On a forum someone mentioned DreamHost doesn’t close the higher ports. If I hosted with DreamHost would they allow (and assist me with) opening ports to run server applications.

Please note, the open ports do not need to be accessable from outside a firewall. They only need to be accessable from the web server locally on the same machine.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank You,

I really doubt that they’re going to let you do that. You should look into getting a VPS–there are lots of options that are only around $20/month and you have complete control.

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I really didn’t think it seemed like much when I was learning how to write server software. (What’s the point of writing server software if running it is considered an outrageous request?)

Well, I can’t blame DreamHost if they don’t offer what no-one else does either.

I’m not too familiar with VPS. Do you have any information on it/them.

Again, thanks.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. You get guaranteed amounts of RAM/CPU and you have complete root access to a virtual server. You can run anything you want on it and have complete control.

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In your case, though, it doesn’t sound like you need a full VPS. You could go with DreamHost-PS. This will allow you to run a server listening to a particular port.

It is more expensive in that the DreamHost PS service starts at $15 a month on top of a separately paid for hosting plan.

BTW, this is not a full VPS solution.

Good luck.

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Hi woozy.

This is a customer-to-customer forum. DH PS could be a solution for you as Lesman mentioned.

Please don’t forget that you can get answer from DH support.

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Hmmm, but if DH PS is $15 plus hosting that comes out to quite a bit more the $20 or so for VPS. And I can see quite a bit of advantage to VPS (that is if I understand everything.)

From support itself:

we don’t allow scripts that listen on ports regardless of the hosting

Sorry we can’t accommodate you. Let me know if you have any other


Apparently not even on DH PS would this be allowed. Pity. VSPLink so far is looking my best option…

I’m a bit surprised more people haven’t come across this issue.

No, it is definitely allowed on the PS and the person who answered your message was wrong. For starters scripts don’t really listen on ports just to begin with. I can tell you for sure running a listening processes is allowed only on the PS/dedicated service plans. You can actually do it on the shared plans but you might get bitched at if its running all the time as persistent processes aren’t allowed on the shared plan.

The thing is its not the listening part of the process that is the problem its the fact it is persistent, that is what isn’t allowed on DH. You will see it is allowed on the PS (from the wiki):

Yeah, I think you may have confused the support person because DreamHost PS isn’t really a hosting plan. You still need to buy a hosting plan and PS is an additional service that you buy on top of a plan.

Then again it’s equally possible that the support person confused himself or herself because the PS service is new.

Do you have any idea how much resource your daemon will use?

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Actually two support people were not ‘nsync’ and answered him incorrectly. They have been flogged.

Can we watch?

Oops, I’m sorry. Was that tasteless?

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He he he, “tasteless” or not, I think it would be a great video clip for one of Josh’s DH Blog posts! :slight_smile: .


I wouldn’t miss that newsletter.

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So now we have the answer.

We can have server application listening to ports in DH PS. We should update the article in wiki.

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I think the article in the wiki that houkouonchi referenced is fine - I believe that scjessey wrote it.

You’ll probably notice that the existence of articles in the wiki that answer specific questions doesn’t actually prevent people from coming here to the forums and asking these same questions. In fact, the existence of the exact same questions here in the forums doesn’t deter these questions from popping up every week - if not every day. :slight_smile:

I don’t really mind so much. It gives all us regulars a chance to chat every so often.

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I thought I might add that the only limitation should be that the listening port has to be over 1024 as <1024 = privileged port (usually).

The least expensive ‘daemon hosting’ you’ll find is what is typically sold as a “shell account”, where you get shell access (via SSH) to a linux server and typically you pay per backgroun process you run.

DreamHost is a ‘web host’, which means you can put static and dymanic websites up, but not run arbitrary daemons yourself (unless you go with the PS service, as mentioned).

woozy, what does your server app actually do? What does your matching client do?

There is a way to get around the listening issue, by re-engineering your apps to use HTTP and CGI. The big question is whether it’s practical in your case. :slight_smile:

I’m not really a programmer (just a bit of scripting), but one of my colleagues has done this (several different apps), as a way to implement low volume, on-demand listening devices in a shared webhosting environment.

I’m just going over the PS posts looking for tidbits.

Woozy, are you saying $15/mo for PS + $6/mo for shared is “quite a bit” more than $20 for a Virtual Private Server here or somewhere else? Dude, do the math and compare $21 to $20… One buck aint a deal killer. You got your answer that you can run your socket code in a DH PS - go for it while the getting is good.

One of my colleagues is in the business of selling virtual private hosts with root access, boot your (UML) box, with RH, WBL, FC (Linux distros) or Debian. Their rate starts at $15 too, but that’s only for 2gb disk, 128MB RAM, and 20gb transfer. To me the “ala carte” increasing rates for disk, RAM, and/or bandwidth have always been deal killers (yes, that means more than a buck). They sort of make up for it by providing redundant servers, limited backup, user maintained firewall (for those socket client/server apps) and some other features. So anyway, I’ve been looking at that offering for a year, and comparing it to others, and looking at the DH PS offering since it was recently announced - and if we don’t see any horror stories over the next couple months I think I’m gonna get me a DH PS. YMMV HTH