I was looking at similar projects and came across N-O-D-E’s ZeroTerminal. In this, he uses i3 as the WM and uses text-based applications exclusively. It may be a good idea to review this for a future revision of the DevTerm. The default DE for the DevTerm is some GTK-based system, and doesn’t come with a lot of programs anyway. In-fact, it appears that there are no custom modifications to the Armbian system with the exception of the creation of the user cpi and its default password. A system with i3 as well as excluisive-TUI is probably superior, but the keyboard that came with my A04 would be more difficult to use for it.
The image is from the second edition of his Zine, btw.