Dreamhost is a great hosting company, and provides a lot of very nice ‘one click installs’ of common software packages. I sometimes use Trac (http://trac.edgewall.org/) for managing hobby development projects, and the Dreamhost one click install worked great, except when it came to setting up authentication (requiring login).

It is simple enough to set up .htaccess and .htpasswd files based on the Trac documenation, but authorization fails for all javascript, css and related files (prompting the user with multiple login dialogs). After much searching about, I found the solution to the problem here: http://discussion.dreamhost.com/thread-124412.html

Simply put: the installer misconfigures the trac.ini file for the htdocs_location setting. Rather than using a relative path, it uses an absolute path with full domain name, which causes issues with the authentication configuration when using .htaccess files.

The solution is to change:

htdocs_location = http://www.yourdomain.com/trac/htdocs

to:

htdocs_location = /trac/htdocs

of course substitue the correct/actual path to the htdocs folder if you chose a custom name/path for your Trac install.

Works like a charm!