I often use the serial console for installs just to save digging out a screen
and keyboard - especially on servers which are going to run headless anyway.
What I do whenever I download release ISOs is unpack the disc-1 image to disk
(tar now does this, I believe), add the line
to boot/loader.conf in the directory which is the root of the CD, and then
make a new ISO and burn a new serial install CD.
Booting from this CD switches to the serial console sometime after the boot
loader but before the boot menu, from which you can drop back down to the
boot loader if needed.
I've used this method to do a successful remote install: a technician on site
linked the serial ports of two boxes with a null-modem cable, put the serial
boot CD in one of them, and I logged into the other over ssh and used tip to
see the serial port. He powered up the spare box with the CD in it and I did
the rest from 1000 miles away - which for some reason impresses the heck out
of a Windows technician.
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