"nofail" has been around as long as fstab has been around really.
This is a falsehood. /etc/fstab has a history that goes back to the 20th century. It was in UNIX System 5 Release 3, 4.2BSD, and OSF/1, for examples. In contrast, the "nofail" option was invented in December 2007 for the Linux mount command by Matthias Koenig, Kay Sievers, and Karel Zak.
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