Sorry to dig up the dead, here. I am looking for information on this topic (binding a custom process to port 80 on a DreamHost VPS) in order to make a purchasing decision regarding on-going use of a VPS with DreamHost.
Today I setup a VPS on a trial basis and been been messing around trying to get my custom webserver to work. I set "No Webserver" for my HTTP selection on the CPanel VSP | Configure Server page and had no trouble gaining root access and installing and fireing up my server. It seems to run fine when I bind it to 8080, however I get the same error unmesh mentions above when I try to bind it to port 80.
As additional context, I plan to host a custom web-service on this VPS that will need to own port 80. I understand that I can use mod_proxy (and also that this can be configured automagically via the panel) however, given that my charges for the Virtual Private Server will depend on the memory I provide to it, I'd rather not run Apache purely to proxy back to my separate (memory intense) daemon doing the actual work.
I understand from easier, but can I get some clue as to specifics around "messy"?