How to Install the Known platform on a Dreamhost shared server

Installing Known on Dreamhost is super easy. The prerequisite is having a hosting account. To host Known on Dreamhost, a domain or subdomain for the installation must exist. If not, add one to your Dreamhost account. Make sure you know the user for the domain. Dreamhost defaults to a user the server creates.

  1. Download the Known .zip archive from
  2. Upload the Known files to your Dreamhost server’s domain directory. There are two ways to do this:
    • Unpack the Known .zip locally and then copy the files through Dreamhost’s WebFTP utility, Pydio. This is very slow, however.
    • Upload the .zip to your domain’s directory and use secure shell (SSH) to upzip the contents. First make sure the user for your domain has shell access. This can be changed on the Manage Users panel. Then go into Terminal or a command prompt and login to Dreamhost’s server as [email protected] and use the password associated with your web hosting username. The command looks like this: ssh [email protected]. Terminal will prompt you for the password. Use the password established on the Dreamhost dashboard for your domain. Navigate to the folder using cd yourdomain/ and then unpack the archive using unzip (Cd means change directory.) Note that the version number for the Known archive might be different. Using unzip via SSH should unpack the contents in the domain’s directory with the index.php file at the top level. Enter exit to leave Dreamhost’s server.
  3. Set up a MySQL “server” under Goodies on the Dreamhost dashboard by adding a hostname. On a shared Dreamhost server, MySQL is already set up. You just need to have a hostname associated with your account to point to your blocks of data on it.
  4. Create a new database. You can call it whatever you want. Just be sure to remember what it’s called, because you will need that information the first time you access the main page. You will also need the database username that you set up when you created the database and the password . You can find the password by clicking on the database username in the middle of the MySQL Databases page under Goodies, and then clicking Show. Don’t create any tables. Known does it for you.
  5. Now you are ready to go to your website domain. When you visit the domain in your browser, the clean copy of Known will prompt you to fill in the necessary data. One thing to note is instead of using localhost for your database server name, you will need the MySQL hostname set up in step 2.

That’s it!

A few more notes:

If you already have a hosting account and want to use a domain registered with another company, you can use the same domain and have the DNS changed with the registrar. You can also create a sub-domain such as and then forward a domain to it.

[EDIT: added some more instructions based on Jeremy’s comment.]