We are running on dead rat and I am a fossil so I went for a RPM install not yum.
1) Added a hudson user using useradd.
2) rpm -ivh hudson.rpm
3) Make sure your java is in the candidates list.
cat /etc/init.d/hudsonlook for this config:
for candidate in /usr/java/latest/bin/java /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0/bin/java /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.6.0/bin/java
/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0/bin/java /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.5.0/bin/java /usr/bin/java
[ -x "$HUDSON_JAVA_CMD" ] && break
4) Optional : Change the huson startup to run as the hudson user using sudo
Add the following config:
Cmnd_Alias HUDSON = /etc/init.d/hudson stop, /etc/init.d/hudson start, /etc/init.d/hudson restarthudson ALL= NOPASSWD: HUDSON
5) Edit any config you need in /etc/sysconfig/hudson
6) Start hudson
sudo /etc/init.d/hudson start