command for tar

I have tar-1.13.11-1.i386.rpm on my Linux box.

1)  when I type "tar -x filename.tar", the machine just hangs.  I did an uninstal in the RPM and then reinstalled it.  It was not the fix.  How d0 I get tar to work?  gzip works, but not with my tar files.

2)  My other simpler question is what does the i386..i586 and so on stand for in the Linux pachages?  Does it mean Intel 386???

Thanks
iowa1Asked:
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wuselCommented:
Try tar -xf filename.tar.
Without the f tar tries to read from stdin. The f option uses the following filename as input.
You can use tar xzf filename.tar.gz to untar gzipped files.
If you use option v tar shows you, which files are beeing created.
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iowa1Author Commented:
Thanks, that did the trick!


But, what about the second part of the question which is, "What does the i386 stand for that is in Linux file names?"


If you don't have the answer, let me know and I will give you credit for the question anyway.



Thanks
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wuselCommented:
As far as I know it stands for the processor type when packages are precompiled. You can use packages compiled for i386 on later intel processors (486, pentium etc.) but the code will not make full use of all features of the processor (as no optimization for later processors is done). This should only be of relevance if the program does a lot of computation or is called often.
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iowa1Author Commented:
Thanks
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