For those of you who compile programs like PHP and it's dependencies, or other tools that one might need on DreamHost, I want to pass on this valuable bit of information I received from their support department after inquiring about a way to compile something when their process killer went beserk after the load got high enough.

I have a script I modified that I found in the DreamHost wiki, and I use it to aid me in compiling PHP and the required dependencies.

You might try running the command with the nice -19 command. That will lower your priority and should let the command run without being killed.
So you would run it like this:
fundip$ nice -19 ./builder.sh

The script may take longer to run because of the lower priority, but hopefully it won't be killed. If you have any questions or problems then please let me know.

Thanks!
Daniel

Edit [06/01/2007]: Dave Dash posted on his blog about this same subject, and posted the "old" variation of the installscript found on the wiki.