Can Node.js be used on shared servers?
No. DreamHost does not support Node.js on shared web servers, as the security setup on DreamHost shared servers is incompatible with compiling or running Node.js.
If you try to compile Node.js on one of the shared web servers, your user will automatically be banned through grsec (taking down all the PHP websites that run under that user) and the server will have to be rebooted before your user can be unbanned. If you do it one more time, you will be forced to move to a VPS.
DreamHost's VPS and Dedicated servers can run Node.js just fine.
Deploying Node.js with Passenger using the DreamHost panel
Visit the following article to learn how to deploy Node.js with Passenger in the panel:
Installing a custom version of NVM and Node.js
View the following article for instructions on how to install a custom version of Node.js.