If its any help the reconcile dialog should allow you to change both the date
and the ending balance. The observed behaviour on Gnucash 2.6.18 ( and it
hasn't changed for me since changing from  2.6.16 or from previous versions
over the last 2-3 years) on Linux Mint 18.3 (Ubuntu 16.04) is that if you
change the date, the initial reconcile dialog updates the ending balance to
what the account record indicate it to beat that date. If your external
record shows a different balance at that date then you can enter that
balance  and hit enter. It then opens the main reconcile window with the
ending balance set to the value you have just entered.

A mouseover of the icons on the toolbar also brings up the tooltips and
again that behaviour was the same in previous Gnucash versions for the past
4-5 years. 

If you are not seeing the tooltips, perhaps it may be a problem/difference
with the library versions installed on your operating system. As far as I
know dpkg works on SUSE so it may be worth doing dpkg -l and comparing the
loaded libraries against the dependency list for 2.6.16. If there is an
older than recommended library, that may be a possible explanantion.

David Cousens
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