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Why so many HW detection packages?

Debian seem to have lots of HW detection packages.  I've noticed the
following (which one did I forget?):

  pciutils, libdetect0, mdetect, discover-data, discover, kudzu,
  kudzu-vesa, hwdata, hotplug-utils, hotplug, read-edid

Some of them will only detect and report hardware, some of them try to
load kernel modules and/or change the configuration and some of them
only have lists of HW available.  Can all of these packages safely be
installed on the same machine?

There also seem to be some overlap in the HW databases included:

  **** libdetect0 ****
  **** discover-data ****
  **** hwdata ****
  **** pciutils ****

Perhaps these packages should be synchronized?

Which package is the best package to install on a freshly installed
Debian/Woody box?  I want to get all supported HW working out of the

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