When using the -k option, tar will simply pause during execution if it encounters a symlink.
A patch is available here: http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/tar.git/patch/?id=b60e56fdb6fd8d82a1f92a4fa7781d9a3184dce1
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Launch tar with -k flag to extract a tarball with symlinks
2. Watch output.
3. Observe tar freezing.
added to tar-1.23-r3 ... thanks for the upstream info
*** Bug 329105 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***