Maybe I should have said - will have to see what this little board is capable of...
My main project/use-case is ... I need a surefire way to remote access/login to my in-laws router/network, in case it malfunctions. Problem is they are behind a CNAT, and do not have publicly routable ip addresses. I purchased this $25 (mainly because it was $25, had 2 ethernet interfaces + wifi, and a really nice metal case all included) so I could set up a vpn (wireguard or openvpn) that will reverse-connect to MY publicly routable home ip address. Then, all I have to do is set up some proper routing tables, and away I go. I'll be able to login and remotely manage their routers, even if everything else is failing. Makes my life a bit easier. Not too bad for $25.
So far, I like armbian a lot --- perfect support for the nano-pi r1, including ethernet and wifi. Both official and dietpi images seemed less refined. I like that the console seems to scroll-off the screen when using picocom/screen, unlike the other images where the scrollback buffer is oldschool, erasing the buffer as it writes. The scrollback buffer alone is worth it.
Using the external UART is nice, in that I can leave the cover of the SBC on. But, it was hard to discover -- not sure if possible to make the image have a console on both DBG UART and the UART1, but maybe at least add a note to the download page.