The Sys::Info approach as suggested by sflitman looks cool although I've never tried it myself.
As Windows is only 'possible future' and for the sake of TIMTOWTDI, run man top on one of your Un*x boxes and have a look at the -b option: batch mode. You could always call this from within Perl and then use the output however you wish.
I am not an expert at making system calls from within Perl so can't advise which of the various methods would suit this best. If you run top with -n 1 (only iterate once), I'd guess any of them should work. It's when you've got recurring output that things would get a bit more complicated. Of course, you could always call top -b from a shell script and have it piping to Perl.
But I'd still say that Sys::Info would be best ;-)
Update - forgot to say that you should probably check the man page for top on your target platforms just in case flags differ. Having just checked on the other (not Linux) OS I have here - FreeBSD - I note that the -n flag has a different meaning. So much for standardisation.
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