This is puzzling me, I was wondering if anyone knew of a good reason for this...
For a brief period in time there was a y option for tar which meant process input/output through bunzip2/bzip2. It was analogous to the -z option for gzip. For example:
tar yxf somefile.tar.bz2
would work (and may still work depending on your distro) similar to:
tar zxf somefile.tar.gz
looking at the changelog for tar-1.13
I found this:
1999-06-16 Paul Eggert <xxx@xxx>
(long_options, usage, OPTION_STRING, decode_options):
Remove -y, --bzip2, --unbzip2.
Which I guess means that new versions of tar don't support the y option anymore. Anybody know why?