Getting CPU usage without any commands

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http://www.unix.com – Hello Is there a way to get CPU usage on UNIX environments (SunOS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX) without executing any commands? The reason I ask is because I am asked to research any potential methods to monitor performance on UNIX environments but not use any commands because they want to 'poll' this every second and if the command itself drains some usage, then the monitoring tool would do more harm than good. Any help is appreciated. Thanks. (HowTos)