Planning on getting a different board

So hey, I’m sitting here thinking about getting a different board than the M3. Not a Banana Pi - I’m pretty certain my next board will be of a different brand. And my issues with the M3 board seems to be rooted into the developers way of doing things.

With the M3, I thought I’d be getting a Raspberry Pi on stereoids. I have 3 RPi’s at home, and all of them serve a different purpose. One is collecting weather data from my weather station and displays them on a nice website. One is a classical media center. And the last one is now retired, since the M3 was supposed to take over its duties as a main server with webserver/ownCloud and GitLab as its main tasks. Thus it will, essentially, never see an HDMI plug in its life.

However, I’m getting more and more frustrated with the M3 board. I find it rather annoying that I had to go all way to compile my own image with @tkaiser as mentor, to get rid of simple mistakes and apply stupid fixes to problems that should’ve been fixed long ago. And now my M3 seems only to boot into emergency mode, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll just back up what I can, and throw the board away.

The images I can download from here are either full blown desktop images, where I have to get rid of a ton of stuff before it can be used practically. The Jessie images don’t support stuff like PHP 7, and I can’t be arsed to add dodgy repos to apt. The minimal Ubuntu images don’t have essential things like ssh and nano. So I’m out of options.

Can any of you recommend a different board? I’ve been looking at the NanoPi NEO (plus the heatsink so CPU and DRAM won’t melt my windowsill).

I’ve got a clean image with Ubuntu Xenial working if you’re not married to Debian, this is what works/doesn’t work BPI-M3: Help needed installing base images

If you do need Debian I can give it a try and see what happens.

I would only need debian if the php7.0 packages works. Otherwise I’m quite satisfied with an Ubuntu 16.04, which was also the end-result when I compiled my own image.

However, your image does seem very interesting, and as I don’t need audio, SATA (which doesn’t work anyway), GPU, bluetooth, or IR, then I’d definitely like to try your image.