Advice on replacing BP1-M1


I bought a BPI-M1 many years back (ten years or so I think) and it’s been running as a sql and Mercurial server, plus NAS with just a couple of hard drive replacements in all that time.

It seems to have gone to the great silicon scrapyard in the sky and I’ll need to get a replacement.

What I always loved about the BPI was that you could run a SATA drive from it. Looking at the web site, I think the latest version of the standard SBC is the M7. Is that right?

It looks like it supports M.2 drives, not SATA. If that is correct, can I do the same as with the M1 in that I can use the SD card simply to direct the system to the M.2 drive and then run everything from said M.2 drive?

And, very importatly, is there an off-the-shelf Linux distro for it?

If not, what is the best bet for me to replace my much-loved BPi M1 with something I can run Linux with a standard distro and use a SATA or M.2 drive with it?