The world of the barebones is very diverse
If i understand you correctly, you want to work and compile on an embedded system or a thin client. But why dont you use a normal workstation/notebook to do that? To test the program you can use than your embedded system.
You also could use a VM with the limited memory specs for testing. With QEMU you propably could even emulate the CPU. So you don't need every different type of test system in physical form.