> An update on this. > For interest sake I tried an install of Ubuntu 8.04 Sparc. > That gets far further than either of the Debian installs.
This would be comparable to Debian etch or lenny. I remember having had a very stable experience with etch on my Ultra 10 back in the day, although this was still with the 32-bit userland. A lot of things have changes since then, and bit rot has taken hold in some places. There's still a lot to do bring things up to speed, but I think it's still remarkable how much is already working at this point. The port is by no means ready for General Consumption™️, though.