You'll also need a screen to do the installation. I don't know of any way to use the serial connection before installing the OS because you need an OS to accept connections from the serial line, right?
GRUB is the default boot loader in most Linuxes and you won't have to get it separately.
After everything is installed and running, I recommend you to use ssh as the means to log in to Linux from remote. I wouldn't use the serial line as it is really slow. If you still insist on the serial line, you will need to configure the server's inittab file to accept connections on it (read in http://www.vanemery.com/Linux/Serial...l-console.html
to see an example how to do that). But again, ssh is preferred because it works over the network.
I hope it helps.