This is the documentation for CDH 4.6.0.
Documentation for other versions is available at Cloudera Documentation.

Maintenance Tasks and Notes

  Note: Running Services

When starting, stopping and restarting CDH components, always use the service (8) command rather than running scripts in /etc/init.d directly. This is important because service sets the current working directory to / and removes most environment variables (passing only LANG and TERM) so as to create a predictable environment in which to administer the service. If you run the scripts in/etc/init.d, any environment variables you have set remain in force, and could produce unpredictable results. (If you install CDH from packages, service will be installed as part of the Linux Standard Base (LSB).)