Sphinx on Dreamhost
If you wish to to install the Sphinx search engine on Dreamhost, you can and it is really quite easy and painless.
The first step is to download, compile and install sphinx into your home directory (as you do not have permissions to install this elsewhere):
cd ~/ mkdir -p local wget http://sphinxsearch.com/downloads/sphinx-0.9.8.1.tar.gz tar -xzf sphinx-0.9.8.1.tar.gz cd sphinx-0.9.8.1/ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/local/ --exec-prefix=$HOME/local/ make install
Now you simply need to modify your $PATH to include ~/local/bin:
echo "export PATH=\"$PATH:~/local/bin\"" >> ~/.bash_profile source ~/.bash_profile
Now you should have a working searchd and your only remaining concern is how to keeping it running, as Dreamhost will kill off long running processes. My solution was to add it to crontab:
* * * * * /home/you/local/bin/searchd --config /home/you/path/sphinx.conf
This appears to be a grey area with Dreamhost, but I’ve never really seen sphinx use any real CPU or memory (on my sites at least) and personally I think they should make it available as part of their standard build.