Yes. There are specific tools for this, but it can be done simply with tar or rsync.
I've often done approximately the following
- boot the target machine from live cd
- partition and mkfs as needed
- mount the root partition and cd into it
- rsync (options -a and -H, at least) over the network from an existing system the following directories: bin dev lib sbin selinux usr boot etc opt root srv var
- mkdir the following: misc net proc sys home media mnt tmp (assuming you want an empty /home)
- chmod 1777 tmp
- delete /etc/ssh/*key* and /etc/udev/rules.d/*persistent* files; they will be regenerated
- edit /boot/grub.conf and /etc/fstab to point to the correct partitions; 'blkid' is your friend if you use UUIDs
- possibly edit /etc/sysconfig/network and the contents of network-scripts, if static ip is needed
- run grub and do 'root (hdX,Y)' and 'setup (hdX)' with appropriate drive X and partition Y
The system should then boot (unless I forgot something essential
). It's very easy to make a silly mistake in grub.conf or fstab such that you need to boot from the live cd again and fix them in order to get the system to boot. Also, doing the above will clone user accounts but not /home. Of course, you can create a tarball and drop that into multiple machines instead of using rsync. You just need to take care to preserve permissions and hard links. Regardless, transferring the system over a 100 mbit or a gbit ethernet only takes a couple of minutes and is almost certainly much faster than running the installer.
Hardware configuration is usually not a problem. You may want to delete the cloned xorg.conf if you have one. In my experience everything else has just worked (so long as the persistent udev rules from the source installation are removed).
If you don't have an ethernet switch, you can still connect the machines directly to each other with a regular ethernet cable. Current hardware will automatically negotiate a straight ethernet connection. Then just stop NetworkManager on both machines and set ip addresses and routes manually.