Ubuntu and GNU/Linux got some good press recently from the Denver Post, which pitched the open source operating system as a healthy alternative to Windows and OS X on desktop computers.

The article, written by Tamara Chuang, focused on PCs from System 76, one of a handful of companies that sells laptops and desktops with Ubuntu pre-installed. It described the Ubuntu experience in exceedingly positive terms.

"With Ubuntu's user-friendly graphics, it looks a lot like Windows or Mac OS," Chuang wrote. "Software programs like imitation Microsoft Office-like tools are free downloads. And you're not forced to upgrade, though Ubuntu does push out security updates when needed."

The article also said Ubuntu "can be a better alternative to Windows computers."

These statements are notable given not just the positive spin, but the paucity of coverage of open source operating systems in the mainstream press in general. On sites like this one, discussion of Ubuntu and Linux is pretty common, because we cater to the tech-insider crowd. But we're betting the vast majority of the Denver Post's readers are completely unfamiliar with operating systems like the one from Canonical.

At the same time, though, the fact that the mainstream press continues to write about Linux in a way that assumes zero familiarity with open source on the part of readers, as Chuang did, is a reflection of just how far removed the Linux community remains from its closed-source counterparts. The Year of the Linux desktop clearly remains far off when non-geeks don't even know how to pronounce "Ubuntu."

But more mainstream press coverage certainly won't hurt the open source cause -- especially when it is as exceptionally positive as this Denver Post piece.