Power & Source of Big Ideas

I am using the new NAS dock but not in the usual way. I'm using a NEO2 and so I put FriendlyArm's normal Ubuntu for NEO2 onto the SD.... and that worked fine. I copied the operating system files over to the hard drive - and changed the file in the BOOT directory to point to the hard drive. SO all is...
For the NanoPi M1 (and others) there is a downloadable directory called MATRIX which according to FriendlyArm you should cross-compile on a PC and then send the executable files to your M1. My interest is GPIO - and there is an example C program for controlling GPIO ports. Running this on a cross- c...
The M1 like most similar boards seems to have a singular lack of simple GPIO control that can be adapted to, say Node-Red.

Has anyone ported any of the popular packages like PIGPIO etc which make GPIO use so easy on the Pi, to run on the M1 in Debian?
I have a working Debian on the M1. I have installed IRLIB - but of course it needs some setup to define which port the IR receiver is on.

So other than just "sudo apt-get install lirc" - can you say what else is needed to make LIRC work.